After taking a look at ticketing and advance booking data by travel agents for Thanksgiving through the New Year, the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is reporting that passengers are becoming more cost-conscious and taking less time away from home for holiday travel. “The findings show startling differences compared to preceding years,” says ARC spokesperson Allan Mutén.
ARC found, for Thanksgiving 2008, travel is peaking on Wednesday rather than the weekend before and resuming again on Friday as opposed to the close of the weekend following. For Christmas 2008, ARC reports that air fares remain higher than the prior three years and that, although expected to improve over the next few weeks, ticketing will fall well below the holiday volume of prior years. ARC did note, however, that deals may be had for those willing to travel at the last moment.
ARC also mined its data resources to look at destination preferences during the holiday season. The top origin and destination for Thanksgiving is Los Angeles to Honolulu, up from number three the year before, while second is travel from Los Angeles to New York, up from number four in 2007, making Los Angeles the favorite place to “depart” this Thanksgiving. Third is Philadelphia to Orlando up from fifth in 2007.